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Part-I Summary


Gulliver’s life and early career

Lemuel Gulliver, third of the five sons, lives with his family in a small estate in Nottinghamshire. At the age of fourteen, he attends Emanuel College in Cambridge. His scanty allowance makes him work for four years as an apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London. Meanwhile, he also learns navigation and mathematics as he considers them useful to those who intend to travel. After his college, he studies physics at Leyden.

Gulliver’s sea voyages

Later, he gets an opportunity to work as a surgeon at the Swallow, on the recommendation of Mr. Bates. On returning from the voyages, he decides to get settled in London as a doctor. He marries Mary Burton, the second daughter of Mr. Edmund Burton.

Two years later, after the death of his patron, Mr. Bates, his business begins to decline, and he becomes attracted to the sea once again. He makes several voyages for next six years. But, he gets sea-weary, and decides to spend his time at home with his wife and his children. However, after three years, he accepts the offer for a voyage to the South Sea from Captain William Prichard.  

A new voyage

They set to sail on the Antelope from Bristol on May 4, 1699. The pleasant beginning turns to a mishap when a violent storm drives them to the north-west of Van Diemen’s Land. Due to ‘ill food and immoderate labour’, twelve of their crew members die and the rest become ‘very weak’. One day, their ship hits a rock and splits. Gulliver, along with five other crew members, manages to leave in a small boat, which unfortunately becomes a victim to ‘a sudden flurry from the north’. He is now separated from the rest of the companions and considers them lost. Finally, Gulliver manages to reach safely to the sea shore.

The strange island of little inhabitants: Lilliput

Tired of his struggle for existence, Gulliver lies down on the soft grass and falls asleep. After sleeping soundly for about nine hours, he wakes up to find his hair and body tightly fastened to the ground with threads. This greatly restricts his movements. Though he hears a confused noise around him, he could not look at the ground to understand the source of it.

A little later, he is astonished to see a ‘not six inches high’ human, carrying a bow and an a…

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